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Microsoft posts sales bump despite sluggish enterprise market

25 Jan 2013

Sagging performance in the enterprise space helped to bring down Microsoft's quarterly profits, the company said.

Microsoft said that sales for its quarter ending 31 December 2012 toped $21.46bn, up three percent from last year's quarter. Profits, however, dipped slightly to $6.4bn a four percent drop over the same period in 2011.

Microsoft noted that two of its operations suffered year-on-year falls in sales: the entertainment and devices division and the business division. Each saw sales drop by 11 percent.

Microsoft said that it is looking to reverse the trend and improve its business division numbers in the coming months as the new edition of Office ships.

Meanwhile, the entertainment and devices division expects its numbers to improve as the Windows Phone 8 platform gains traction following its release late last year, the company claimed.

Other units turned in strong performances for Microsoft. Windows revenues were up 24 percent year on year, as the company reported more than 60 million downloads for Windows 8.

Chief financial officer Peter Klein told reporters and investors that the company would also look to expand the scope and price range of tablets for the platform.

"One of the powers of the Windows ecosystem is the the variety of devices and form factors," Klein said. "We learned that continues to be important."

Microsoft also holds high hopes for its online services division, which boosted revenues by 11 percent, and the server and tools branch, which bumped up revenues by nine percent on the year.

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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